Saturday, September 29, 2012

September 29, 1862

September 29, 1862: 

Brig. Gen. William “Bull” Nelson, a corps commander under Buell, has called for the dismissal of Gen. Jefferson C. Davis (no relation to the Rebel president), commander of the Home Guard Brigade in Louisville, for what Nelson considers dereliction of duty.  At the Galt House Hotel, Davis confronts Nelson, sharp words are exchanged, and Nelson slaps Davis on the side of the head.  Gen. Davis goes out, borrows a pistol, and comes back in and murders Gen. Nelson with one shot in the heart.  Davis is arrested, but never tried or convicted for his crime.  He will go on to command a corps in the Georgia and Carolinas campaign.
Gen. William "Bull" Nelson
Gen. Jefferson C. Davis

---After pulling rank, Gen. Earl Van Dorn is able to convince Gen. Sterling Price that their combined armies, under Van Dorn’s command, should move against Corinth and wrest it back from the Yankees.  Price has misgivings, because he knows that Grant and Rosecrans have more troops than the Confederates within striking distance to take Corinth back again.  The Rebels are outnumbered, but Van Dorn is ignoring the math.

---Union army surgeon Alfred L. Castleman writes in his journal of his furlough to visit his family:

29th.—To-day received the anxiously expected furlough, and now for my dear, dear home, from which I have been absent for nearly a year and a half. Now for a visit to my dear wife and children! I have ridden since night to Hagerstown, where I shall stop till morning, then hie me onward. My hand is very painful and much swollen, but I anticipate no results from it more serious than severe pain.

---Lt, James A. Graham, Co. G of the 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in Lee’s army, writes home to his father about his regiment’s participation in the Maryland campaign, and how they fared at the Battle of Antietam with high losses:

[After] crossing the Potomac again at Shepherdstown [we] proceeded to Sharpsburg Md and were engaged in the battle there on the 17th. Our Reg’t went into the fight with 299 men and 26 officers, were engaged for 7 hours and lost 87 men & 16 officers killed & wounded. Our men behaved very well and we were very highly complimented by every Gen. on the field.

Our Col. (Cooke) commanded our Right and the 3d. Ark. Reg’t and Gen. Lee said that a charge that our two Reg’ts made changed the fortunes of the day. During the hottest part of the fight the enemy brought up two pieces of artillery to within 250 or 300 yards of us, Col. Cooke ordered our Company and three other Cos on the left to fire upon them and before they could get their pieces into action we had killed every horse hitched to them and about half the men. Our two Reg’ts were then ordered to charge. This we did with a yell and the enemy opposed to us (34th N.Y. & 125th Pa Reg’ts) ran like sheep. We pursued them for nearly half a mile when seeing that we were not supported by other forces and our ammunition giving out we were ordered to fall back to our original position.

---A debate ensues in the Confederate House of Representatives over a bill introduced by Rep. Semmes of Louisiana, in which he recommends that the C.S.A. declare the Emancipation Proclamation to be an infamous and “gross violation of the usages of civilized warfare” and that the Confederacy should resort to any and all measures to force the Union to retract it.  Semmes apparently feels that the Proclamation gives the South the right to ignore the usual rules of warfare in retaliation.  The debate unravels into a general consensus that the South raise the “black flag” and give no quarter for the rest of the war.

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